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[Scroll down for And a few more things… industry news highlights]

At Visual 1st this year, two topics will again feature prominently in discussions during breaks and at our networking receptions:

  • How do AI and AR change, or will change, the way we offer photo or video solutions to our customers?
  • How narrow can the feature gap between digital cameras and smartphones become? And what does this mean for camera/phone manufacturers – and everyone in the imaging ecosystem whose customers use either or both device type(s) to take photos or videos?

In just 2 weeks from now (October 3-4), we will also deepen our understanding of these crucial strategic questions by tackling them head-on in three exciting sessions featuring an impressive lineup of innovative entrepreneurs and strategic thinkers:

1.    Developing and Leveraging Next-Gen AI & AR Consumer Imaging Solutions

AI is already everywhere in imaging, from recognition to enhancement to auto editing – and of course there’s much more to come.

In parallel, AR solutions are proliferating at a rapid pace, serving use cases ranging from having lots of fun to being highly productive.

As these two technologies evolve in mutually reinforcing ways, we, as an industry, must take the imaging solutions they enable to the next level of value and profitability, while also keeping things safe, secure and private for our customers – but how?


[Alon GrinshpoonechoARAlex TsepkoSkylum; Kevin GuoHiveStephen NielsonAdobe]

2.    Pushing the Limits of Computational Photography

Alexander Schiffhauer recently left his role as Technical Advisor to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai to take product management responsibility for the company’s computational photography teams.

Under his leadership, these teams have pioneered innovation on Pixel Camera, leveraging AI and computer vision techniques to create photos unimaginable only a few years ago.

Topics we’ll discuss with Alexander include the vision that drives Google’s strategy, some of the processes behind the company’s accomplishments, and his views on the hardware/software debate, including how far AI can take us in improving the customer experience of computational photography.

[Alexander SchiffhauerGoogle]

3.    The Camera is Dead – Long Live the Camera

Smartphones are gobbling up the feature gap that separates them from cameras. But how small can that gap really get? Are there camera value propositions that simply can’t be duplicated? And what are camera vendors doing to extend the gap? We’ll explore the consequences for anyone offering photo or video app, cloud or hardware solutions.

[Robert PignataroZEISSSuzanne De SilvaSamsung; Erik BjernulfProfotoJennifer WaicukauskiLooking Glass] [*** 15 days until Visual 1st : Thu. Oct. 3 – Fri. Oct. 4, San Francisco

Program & Speakers; Agenda; Attendees to date; Attendee trailers to date

Buy your ticket now!

New app to show? Let us know. Only 4 Show & Tell demo slots left!

Visual 1st Women in Imaging initiative

  1. 1. Meet & Greet fellow female attendees, RSVP required.
  2. 2. 20 tickets for female startup entrepreneurs at 90% discount. Info. ***]

And a few more things…

Profoto. Today Profoto announces the Profoto C1 and C1 Plusthe company’s very first studio lights for smartphones. The light the C1 product range delivers is natural looking and beautiful with a soft, gentle fall-off, and that’s partly because of the shape. Each light is round, like the sun. Users can point and shoot with automatic exposure and flash power based on the surrounding conditions, or use the manual mode. We’ll hear all about Profoto’s expansion of its lineup now including both digital cameras and smartphones at Visual 1st.

Kite. Previous Visual 1st Gold Sponsor Kite is acquired. Again. After its acquisition by Canon just 2 years ago, it’s now UK-based Prodigi that has acquired Kite from Canon. Prodigi also acquired print API vendor Pwinty back in 2017

Zyl. Congratulations to last year’s Visual 1st Show & Tell presenter, France-based photo app startup Zyl, which announces it has raised €1M. Zyl’s app uses AI to find the most interesting photos and videos in a photo library, and highlights one interesting photo memory every 24 hours.

Pixsy. And congratulations to last year’s Visual 1st Special Recognition Award winner Pixsy, who acquired blockchain-based copyright platform to strengthen its image protection offerings.

Google PhotosGoogle Photos keeps innovating.

Announcement #1: Memories, a back-in-time feature that uses the Stories format most of us are now used to on various social media platforms. Memories is a bit smarter (read: has more AI) than Google’s existing Recover this Day feature. It’s not as tightly tied to a particular date: it’s more intended for revisiting an event, such as a birthday party or vacation, from previous years. It also lets you look back without having to swipe through badly shot photos and duplicates.

Announcement #2: when shipping printed photo products to your home is not fast enough, Google Photo users can now place orders for pickup in about an hour at more than 11K US locations through its partnerships with Walmart and CVS (and their respective print solution providers Fujifilm and Kodak Moments).

What’s the opportunity for in-store print fulfillment? We’ll hear all about it in our Visual 1st fireside chat session with Dr. Christian Friege, CEO of CEWE, Europe’s market leader in photo print services.

Timpson. More in-store photo print fulfillment announced in the UK. Retail service provider Timpson offers self-serve kiosks for orders created and paid on smartphones – no retail staffing required.

Polaroid. Nostalgia 2.0: The Polaroid Photolab printer gives analog lives to your smartphone photos.

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Hans Hartman

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